DAY 62 – Dec. 17, 2015 – Literacy (Characterization, Inferring), Multiplication

This blog post is a work in progress – please be sure to check back later, too! 🙂


LITERACY – Media/Writing

Today we worked on Characterization (character development). When we can recognize how an author develops a character (today, through media/film), we can then transfer characterization skills to our own writing. After independently reading for a bit, we were introduced to a Graphic Organizer for Characterization — FAST Characterization (Feelings, Actions, Saying, Thinking)



We watched a Christmas season classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. We focused on the Grinch character and worked in groups to brainstorm his Feelings, Actions, what he was Saying, and what he was Thinking. (This will work very well for our next writing activity after the break, Suspense writing (grade 6 expectation — we will use the story to also map out the plot — see the Mountain organizer from Grade 5….)


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MATH – Multiplication (Standard Algorithm practice)

We played a Grinch-themed board game 🙂 🙂 🙂  Students start with 3 chips…….if they’re lucky, they proceed through the game board and get to GIVE AWAY chips. The person who gives all their chips away first wins. (Thanks to     for this idea —— it can be used with any level of math or other question).


The trick is…………….students had to answer a 3 digit x 2 digit multiplication question in their notebook in order to roll the die!!!!   (using Standard Algorithm ONLY, as this is the method we need most practice with). Students had a lot of fun, although you can see they were very competitive and concentrated very well 🙂





DAY 61 – Dec. 16, 2015 – Music

tree of music notesMUSIC

We made up for quite a few Music classes that have been missed lately 🙂 Some days become all literacy, and some days become all math, due to necessity – today it was mostly music 🙂 While a third of the class attended a Drama rehearsal with Mrs. Crocker for today’s play, “The Best Gift Ever”, the remainder of the class engaged in Independent Reading, and then began to practice our song, “Grown-Up Christmas List”.

Then, the rest of the class returned to us, and we had an excellent rehearsal of our song! We worked especially on sustaining notes, making an open sound with our head-voices, clearing up issues with pitch, and then posture (in the gym). It was amazing how the accoustics of the larger gym area enhanced our sound! The look of pleasure on students faces during this rehearsal was wonderful to see 🙂 More on our performance further down……


Mrs. Crocker had a turn teaching us Gym today – we enjoyed some much needed outside time!!



Mrs. Laws took us to the Hub — we had a choice of creating Christmas decorations or playing boardgames. We had a blast!



Several students were involved on stage in lead roles for this whole-school performance, led by Mrs. Crocker. More pictures to come soon, on the Rousseau website. Here is a photo of us, and a video of us singing our song, “Grown-Up Christmas List” 🙂



No homework today 🙂

DAY 60 – Dec. 15, 2015 Multiplication, Music, & Mayhem (not really…just some decorating)


Hey! Our Hour of Code activity last week made it onto the HWDSB Website! Check it out!

Schools Tap Away at Hour of Code –


LITERACY – Independent Reading

Almost half way into the year, and we have some really awesome reading habits in our classroom! Students are getting into reading right away and persisting with reading like never before. Congratulations to students who have shown excellent reading habits all year long (so far), and to those who have improved their reading behaviours. Bravo!

MATH – Multiplication

We continue to review and practise the strategies taught in Grade 5. Today, a few students attempted to explain the steps of the Standard Algorithm aloud. Everyone should practice this skill! It really helps to focus students’ thinking and solidify their memory of the steps. The Standard Algorithm is the preferred method of most adults, as this is the method they learned in school. It is, however, the most difficulty strategy, as it requires students to hold multiple pieces of information in their heads, while also doing computation. Very tricky. The curriculum states that students need to be able to perform a variety of strategies for multiplication, to achieve a Level 3.

Notice how the method with Expanded Form uses colour coding to help us keep track of the number of required zeroes. Once the zeroes have been accounted for, it’s just a matter of doing 1 digit x 1 digit multiplication. Students had multiplication charts to help with this.

Some excellent examples of finished work:


We have learned this song  in Music class with Ms Fawcett, in order to perform in tomorrow’s Drama presentation with Mrs. Crocker. Families are welcome to attend the whole-school event, starting at 2:00pm. Students should practice tonight!



We’ve decorated our door – hope you like what we’ve done with the place! 🙂 We started yesterday, and finished today!


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DAY 59 – Dec. Dec. 14, 2015 – Learning Skills, Multiplication

LEARNING SKILLS & GOAL SETTING Progress reports went home on Friday. We reviewed Learning Skills and looked at one rubric with possible statements. We did some reflective activities and set goals for the end of Term 1 (beginning of February). 

Our homework – due Friday – is to write a learning skills paragraph about ourself that reflects where we will be at the end of term 1.   


Students are welcome to write their learning in the comments below!



DAY 58 – Dec. 11, 2015 – Dec. Gift Drive, Writing


Thank you to all of our families for their generosity. The students were so pleased to be able to help a family in our community through the Ancaster Community Services. Our donations came in at $350! Thank you to parent Mrs. Mattern under student council executive – Brady, Callie, Carson, and Dea. They spent yesterday morning price comparing and shopping according to the list prepared by our class during math class.

The Student Council Executive shared their reflections about the shopping experience – ideas related to math/budgeting and how the experience impacted them personally:

We learned that not everything online is available in the actual store. 

There was a lot of variety if pots and pans.

We looked at the online choices that students put into the Google doc, but we noticed in the store sometimes there was another item on the actual shelf that was a better choice because maybe it was cheaper. One product was $12 online, but when we got into the store we noticed that it was half that price.
Sometimes it was hard to find exactly what we were looking for on the list, so we would have to maybe settle for something a little different.

We had to estimate how much we would be spending on the actual items and how much we would be spending in tax. We knew that we couldn’t go over $350.

I thought the little annoying at times because there were so many choices and we were walking back-and-forth between different choices – it was hard to decide what to choose.

Dea – My favorite part was picking out wrapping paper because I like colorful things. Sometimes when you shop you choose something that’s in styler that’s pretty, but I learned that sometimes it’s important to choose something that is a good product.

Callie – my favorite part was when we shop to chapters. We were picking out a game for the boy in the family and I was imagining him opening the gift and being excited that hey I got a game to play. We tried to choose games where multiple people could play, so the family can play the games together.
Brady – My favorite part was being asked by some older people for my Pinyan on what to buy kids. It turns out that they were there to buy gifts for people who might not otherwise receive Christmas presents.

Carson – My favorite part was learning to have an appreciation for how much things cost and what it’s like to have to stay within a budget. It really puts things in perspective when people don’t have enough money to buy things. It was different than when I go and purchase for myself. It was fun to go with other friends and I really enjoyed that. 

Students are invited to write their reflections in the comment section – what did you learn about budgeting and math while working with your partner on the Google document and your $320 budget?


We are working on two songs for next week! Next Wednesday, December 18 @ 2pm, Mrs. Crocker is leading classes in a presenting of  the play called “The Best Gift Ever”. We are performing a song called “Grown-up Christmas List”. One song will involve us learning by rote and memorizing, and the other song will be learned by reading the music. The second song is “Winter Sleigh Ride”. We will be performing this at on Friday, December 18 @ 2pm at the monthly awards assembly. Students homework is to practice this song – the lyrics at the very end of this blog post! 🙂



Grown-up Christmas list 

Do you remember me?

I sat upon your knee

I wrote to you

With childhood fantasies
Well, I’m all grown up now

And still need help somehow

I’m not a child

But my heart still can dream
So here’s my lifelong wish

My grown up christmas list

Not for myself

But for a world in need
No more lives torn apart

That wars would never start

And time would heal all hearts

And everyone would have a friend

And right would always win

And love would never end

This is my grown up christmas list
As children we believed

The grandest sight to see

Was something lovely

Wrapped beneath our tree
But heaven only knows

That packages and bows

Can never heal

A hurting human soul
No more lives torn apart

That wars would never start

And time would heal all hearts

And everyone would have a friend

And right would always win

And love would never end

This is my grown up christmas list
What is this illusion called the innocence of youth

Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
No more lives torn apart

That wars would never start

And time would heal all hearts

And everyone would have a friend

And right would always win

And love would never end, oh

This is my grown up christmas list

This is my only life long wish

This is my grown up christmas list